Owning a smartphone can be expensive, especially once you include texting, data and mobile hotspot connections. However, many communication companies have a variety of options and prices to accommodate different needs, including phone plans designed specifically for senior citizens.
The top cell phone plans for seniors are:
-- T-Mobile Unlimited 55+ Plan.
-- Verizon 55+ Unlimited Plan.
-- GreatCall Wireless.
-- Consumer Cellular.
-- AT&T Senior Nation.
-- Sprint Unlimited 55+.
-- Boost Mobile Unlimited.
-- Ting Mobile Flex.
-- Mint Mobile 15 GB Prepaid Plan.
-- US Mobile Custom Plan.
-- Republic Wireless.
-- Cricket Wireless.
T-Mobile Unlimited 55+ Plan
For those age 55 and older, T-Mobile provides a phone plan which allows users an unlimited amount of talk, text and data. The plan starts at $27.50 a month, and you don't have to sign a long-term contract. The devices compatible with the plan range from basic flip phones to recent releases from Apple and Samsung. If you receive a free device as part of the plan, you may have to pay for part of the phone if you terminate the plan early.
Verizon 55+ Unlimited Plan
To be eligible for this plan, you'll need to be at least 55 years old and have a billing address in Florida. The plan includes unlimited data, talk and text. It also offers DVD-quality streaming and unlimited hotspot connections. There is coverage available in Mexico and Canada. A single line costs $60, and the price for two lines is $80 per month. Verizon has a large selection of smartphones that can be used with the plan.
Specifically designed for seniors, GreatCall provides several phone plans, starting with 250 minutes of talk for $14.99 a month. You can also purchase additional services such as Urgent Response, which is a button you can push during an emergency. You'll be connected to an urgent response agent who will confirm your location, help you evaluate your situation and provide assistance. Other services include Urgent Care, which allows you to speak to a nurse or doctor at any time, and GreatCall Link, which updates loved ones about your health and safety. There are no long-term contracts, and you can choose a flip phone model or smartphone option. All phones are senior-friendly, and you can keep your existing phone number.
If you are an AARP member, you can expect an additional discount when you get a plan with Consumer Cellular. These plans are a good fit for seniors with changing needs, as they provide an array of options and flexibility. A plan with 250 minutes of calls starts at $15 a month, and a plan with text and limited data costs slightly more. After selecting an initial plan, you can change it later if you find you need more or fewer services. You can use your existing phone if it is unlocked or select from a range of flip and smartphones.
AT&T Senior Nation
Designed for individuals age 65 or older, the plan starts at $29.99 a month for 200 minutes that can be used at any time. You'll also receive 500 minutes for nights and weekends. The plan offers unlimited calls to other AT&T Mobility customers, but is only available for basic phones and not smartphones. If you want data or more phone options, you can upgrade to a plan with a higher cost.
Sprint Unlimited 55+
If you're 55 or older, the plan offers unlimited text, talk and data, along with unlimited mobile hotspot usage. You will also receive DVD-quality video streaming and roaming in more than 180 countries. The cost is $50 a month for one line, or $70 a month for two lines if you're switching to the plan.
Boost Mobile Unlimited
There are no senior age restrictions with this plan, though tech-savvy seniors may find it affordable and accessible. For $50 a month, you'll receive unlimited talk, text and data. You'll also have mobile hotspot access. You can use your current phone number and don't have to sign any service contracts.
Ting Mobile Flex
If you only need talk and text, this plan has no limits and costs just $10 a month. You can add data for $5 per GB, and you will only pay for the data you use. You can keep your phone if it is compatible with Ting. There are no senior age limits for the plan.
Mint Mobile 15 GB Prepaid Plan
If you're looking for a prepaid plan, Mint Mobile provides a 12-month plan for $25 a month, which comes to $300 total. The plan includes unlimited talk and text, along with 15 GB of data per month. Calling is available to Mexico and Canada, and you'll have mobile hotspot access. There are no senior age restrictions with the plan.
US Mobile Custom Plan
If you want to create your own plan, you can choose to pay for talk, text and data services as you use them. The plan begins with 75 minutes of talk for $2, 50 texts for $1.50 and 50 MB of data for $1.50. You can also change your plan from month to month, depending on your communication needs.
If you use very little or no data, but want to purchase only talk and text services, this plan may be suitable. For $15 a month, you'll have access to unlimited talk and text. If you decide you want data, you can add it for $5 per GB every month. You can cancel the contract at any time. You'll also be able to use your current phone or choose a smartphone.
With a phone specifically designed for seniors, Snapfon provides features such as large buttons, large text, a talking keypad and hearing aid compatibility. You can customize a plan, starting with 100 minutes a month for $10. You may also choose to add text and data services, or opt for an unlimited talk and text package.
If you're an AARP member, you may receive a deal on Cricket phones. The basic plan for unlimited talk and text, along with 2 GB of data, starts at $30 a month. There is no contract needed and you won't pay a cancellation fee.